How to Win at Sports Betting

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A lot of people think that you cannot win at sports betting. The fact is that sports betting is one of the very few forms of gambling that you can win at. The others are horse racing, and poker.

These games all have the same common denominator - they are games played against other people. It's true that the house does have an advantage in all forms of gambling. Poker has the "rake," horse racing the "take," and sports betting "the vig." Fortunately, sports betting has a relatively small house advantage of only 4.5%.

Successful sports betting requires searching for value

I have a friend who is a Wall Street banker. He is an excellent investor who makes a nice living on The Street. Now, he cannot give me insider trading info lest he go to jail (not that I didn't try to get some!). Once, I asked him what investment strategy he employed. His answer was very simple and it applies very well to sports betting. His strategy? Look for stocks that are out of favor. In sports betting, we look for teams that are out of favor. In other words, we avoid betting on favorites. On Wall Streets, the favorites are the trendy stocks of the day. Remember those sexy internet stocks? In sports betting, the favorites to avoid are the Oklahoma's of the world.

Be careful with this approach. When I say to employ a contrarian strategy, I don't mean that you should just look for long shots to bet on. That is a common mistake that sports bettors make. In sports betting (and life), there is a big difference between being contrarian and just plain contrary. Being contrarian mean to be your own expert, bet only on value and win.

Ignoring the experts is an important key to sports betting

Speaking of experts, here is my advice when it comes to experts and sports betting: Don't listen to the experts. I'm actually being kind in calling them experts. What they should really be called are pundits, or talking heads. There are sports betting experts, but you won't find them on TV spewing forth their knowledge. When everybody else is depending on the "knowledge" of these experts, you should have the confidence to stand on your own sports betting knowledge. If you can't do this, then you shouldn't be making sports bets.

Keep in mind that even if you employ a sound sports betting strategy whereby you search for value and don't listen to the so-called experts, you are still playing a risky game. That's the bad news. The good news is that you only need to hit 52.4% of your bets to break even. Even better news is that 56% proficiency makes you very successful. If you can hit above 56% of your sports betting investments, you are going to be able to make large sums of money. Not a bad proposition!

Have sound sports betting and money management game plans

Most people place sports bets for fun. That's all well and good, but winning at sports betting is much more fun and easy on the bank account than is losing. The public will commonly bet on teams for a variety of reasons; they attended a particular college, rooted for a particular pro sports team while growing up (I liked the Pittsburgh Steelers), or think that they are a good team who should win this Saturday - the favorite syndrome, or maybe they will listen to the dreaded experts. They will then compound their arbitrary selection process by making sports bets in varying amounts and playing sucker bets.

People who win at sports betting employ a smart game plan and an even smarter money management plan when making their bets.

Winners are also very conservative.

I have already given you a myriad of great sports betting angles to assist you in selecting your sports wagers. Using these angles would constitute using a sound game plan.

Money management is a very simple component of sports betting, yet it is the one that most people have problems with. The first step in being a winning sports bettor is to make sure that you have a sufficient bankroll. Even the best handicappers are subject to long losing streaks. You should be sure to have a bankroll equal to at least 100 times your base betting unit. If you wager $50 per game, then you should have a bankroll of at least $5000. This will ensure that you get to stay in the game should you have a long losing streak.

The other sports betting money management technique that should be followed is to bet the same amount on every game. You will see "experts" who give you their 5-star game, or their Game of the Year (GOY). Every sports bet you make should be worthy of 5-star status, or you should not make the bet. It's that simple.

What you need to know to employ a good sports betting plan is easy. The trick is to stay disciplined.

Bet with your head, not your heart

I bet you've heard that one before. It sounds so simple, but so many people just can't do it. On many occasions, you will see people make futures bets on their hometown team because they are getting such great odds. Of course, they may be getting 30-1 odds when the true odds are 100-1, but that's another matter...

The key thing is to have a good reason before making a sports bet.

Understand that you must grind out a profit

This comes back to having a sound sports betting and money management strategy. Lots of people use sports betting as a higher percentage lottery. They will play ten team parlays that they have no real chance of hitting.

Sports betting is all about grinding out a profit one game, day, weekend, month and year at a time. If you can win 55-60% of your sports betting investments, you are going to seriously pad your bank account. Getting back to Wall Street for a minute, there is an old saying about greed: Bulls run, bears hide, and pigs get slaughtered. Think about that for awhile, because it's just as true for sports betting as it is for playing the stock market.

Accept the fact that you will lose many wagers. It's okay. It's normal. When you lose a bet, put it behind you and focus on the next one. Michael Pizzolla, a professional horseplayer extraordinaire, has a great saying to make this point - "Some will, some won't, so what, NEXT!" He also refers to it as SW cubed=N.

The thing that losing sports bettors do is to chase their bets (good or bad) with bad bets. So after their overrated favorite fails to cover the spread, they chase the bet by doubling their bet size and losing on another favorite. Don't let this happen to you.

Sports betting takes effort, so don't be a lazy goat

Success comes to people who work hard or to people who were born to wealthy parents. If you want to win at sports betting you will have to put in some time. Fear not, however, if you lack time. There are a few good handicapping services available to help you if you need it.

Understand that the line makers are incredibly good at what they do

The good folks that set the sports betting lines are scary good at what they do. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that are smarter than them, or that you can beat them. All you can hope to do in the long-run, is be on the right side of a line, or total enough times to make a profit.

If you don't believe anything else on this page, believe this. It's your choice if you want to be stubborn, but don't say I didn't warn you.

A better way to look at this is to believe that you can make money at sports betting by being smart and trying to think along with the line makers. When you see a line that looks out of whack, think long and hard, and use the angles I have given you and try to understand whey the line is the way it is. This will help you in deciding which side or total, if any, to take.

Be a choosy sports bettor and find the best possible line

This is a sports betting factor that gets overlooked a lot. Most sports bettors, even good bettors, see a game they like, go to their sports book, see an acceptable line, and make their bet. What if you could find a better line than the one being offered by your sports book?

Successful sports betting requires searching for the best line possible. This goes along with not being lazy. Even a ½ point can often be the difference between winning and losing or winning a pushing a bet.

So how do you find the best line? When you find the best line, how do you bet it? Here's a little secret. If you are doing your sports betting online, you should have at least three sports books available to place wagers. Why three you ask? If you have multiple sports books available - by available I mean that you are signed up and have money in your account - you can quickly scan each book for the best line, then make a quick bet. If you have one sports book account, you are at the mercy of that sports book to place your sports bets, regardless of what line they have available.

I urge you to strongly consider having multiple books. If you need one or two more books, or if you haven't opened any accounts yet, you can easily do so at one of our recommended sports books.

There you have it, all of the secrets for successful sports betting in one place. They are not, of course, really secrets at all. Rather, they are just common sense reminders of how to approach sports betting in order to become a long-term winner.

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